Blockchain Technology
Research at TMU:Advanced Computing

Research at TMU:
Advanced Computing

For over a quarter century, computer scientists Drs. Jelena and Vojislav Misic have ridden the waves of technological change. From wireless networks and mobile cloud computing to cybersecurity and the internet of things (IoT), their work helps boost performance of technologies we now rely on.

Drs. Jelena and Vojislav Misic
Drs. Jelena and Vojislav Misic

Their latest explorations are in

blockchain technology

a large, synchronizing, tamper-proof digital ledger that records transactions across many unknown users with no central or third-party clearing authority

Even if you don’t invest in cryptocurrency, you’ve almost certainly been impacted by blockchain’s many other applications — such as the electronic storage and sharing of your health records among a vast network of doctors, pharmacies, labs and hospitals. 

The Misics have researched how to achieve ultra-fast propagation of blockchain data and proper consensus algorithms that let each node in the network agree on new blocks to the chain. Why? These very performance factors help ensure that:

  • information is updated accurately across the network
  • delays don’t cause security vulnerabilities
  • only the right people access sensitive information
  • abuse and sabotage are averted
  • constant updates don’t waste vast amounts of energy
“We research performance — the stuff underneath that no one sees, but which makes technology better, safer and more efficient.”

Among other results, they’ve analyzed a family of consensus protocols that allow a group of nodes to agree on a piece of data in the presence of “Byzantine” nodes — those that exhibit faulty or dishonest conduct — which is crucial in distributed systems where there may be thousands of users unknown to each other.

The Misics were also the first to develop a comprehensive analytical model for the churning process in bitcoin networks and its impact on data distribution times.

As more and more industries — such as finance, health and global supply chains — adopt blockchain technology, such research in performance improvement helps ensure better and safer technology for us all.